The International Federation of Journalists, an organisation representing half a million journalists worldwide, has condemned police demands for media organisations to hand over information about the tea tapes.
The IFJ says it ‘supports journalists at Radio New Zealand and other news media organisations for upholding their ethical obligation to protect confidential sources and responsibility to gather and report news in the public interest.’
In a statement, the IFJ’s Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park says: “While there are ethical questions about how the recording was made, the police clampdown on news media organisations just nine days before New Zealand’s general election is alarming, and may be interpreted as an attempt to suppress media freedom.”
This is the kind of comment that the IFJ usually reserves for the actions of dictatorships.
Much as some of us have enjoyed watching Key squirm, this has gone too far. It’s time for Key to call off the cops and allow the transcript to be released before further harm is done to New Zealand’s international reputation.